It’s week 25 and I stand at something of a crossroads. In the words of Bob Dylan: “The times they are a-changin’… The slow one now, will later be fast”. That’s right, I just started this post by randomly quoting Bob Dylan. Don’t stop reading, I haven’t lost it. I have, however, been assessing my progress thus far, and have concluded that it’s perhaps time for a bit of a change, and who better to break that news than Mr Dylan (although I imagine he had slightly grander things in mind than my project when he penned that hit). Let’s get one thing straight before anyone starts assuming things, I am not giving up, nor am I changing my goal. However, it is time to think a little differently. I’m not going to give you all the details here, but I wanted to get my epiphany out there, and whet your appetite for the earth shattering, ahem, further revelations that will follow in a post later this week. I’ve even included something of a cryptic clue in the second part of those lyrics – any guesses?
So now I have both dropped and brushed aside that bombshell, let’s take a look at what happened in week 25. You may remember that last week was a bit of a disappointment – the good news is that this week is a significant improvement upon that – more than doubling that poor tally. Despite that, it is still not a great amount, and continues a disappointing trend at the moment of things being slightly below where I would like them to be at this point. Let’s not be pessimistic though – I improved based on last week, and if I can do that every week, then I have won half the battle.
This week saw the return of a decent bit of mystery shopping income. I continue my new strategy of quality over quantity, and instead of filling my time with multitudes of visits, I only take pretty lucrative ones with a good time-to-reward ratio. With the end of the month looming the calls have begun to come in to try and fill up their remaining unassigned jobs, leaving me to pick and choose the best ones, and usually negotiate a few extra pounds because they need urgently filling. As such I did one this week, and have a few more next, all at good rates of pay (£15ish for 30 mins or less). It’s a system I’m much preferring to before, where I was getting a bit sick of the whole business – now I just do assignments that are worthwhile and don’t fill my time with those that aren’t as justified economically.
You may notice the small bounty from Mecca Bingo, a site I signed up with a few months ago for cashback purposes. I can’t remember if I mentioned that it was my birthday a couple of weeks back – in any case it was, and the marketing folks over at Mecca saw fit to give out some bonus play as a little birthday present of sorts, an ever generous £3. It had to be played, rather than withdrawn, so I finally got round to using it this week and stuck it on a bit of bingo, being lucky enough to come out with £7.14. Gala bingo did the same thing, but lady luck didn’t shine on me there and the £3 was lost. It goes to reinforce, if anyone needed it, that gambling your own money is unlikely to be a road headed to success.
The income source this week that probably stands out is the £45.00 from Ipsos Surveys. They are a company whom I’ve done a few little online surveys for in the past, and are pretty good (in fact, those surveys you hear about in the news, like “69% of people in the North East of England own a smartphone” seem to invariably be conducted either by them or YouGov). They got in touch a couple of weeks back to invite me to take part in a big survey called “TouchPoints”. It essentially involved keeping a diary of my activities in each half hour, for the space of one week. It was a fairly good payment so I decided to give it a punt It’s not quite as invasive as it sounds, but it did involve probably about 30 minutes per day, although that was spread throughout the day and could be done easily whilst doing other things, as it was via an app downloaded to my phone. It was easy but tedious and painstaking at times, especially when I found myself needing to catch up on a few hours in one go. If I was invited to do it again, I’m not sure I’d bother, however, it brought some decent income, and it is certainly quite interesting to realise where time goes when you are forced to account for every 30 minute block.
A marked improvement on week 24, but still a fair distance from what I need and expect at this stage of the project. Encouragement can be taken though from both the drastic rise, and the fact there is about £12 of passive income nestled in there.
Revenues in Week 25:
- Mystery Shopping = £15.00
- Cashback = £25.27
- Ipsos Surveys = £45.00
- Mecca Bingo = £7.14
- Saturday Night Football = £33.00
- Dog Walking = £60.00
- Tracker Fund = £1.32
Less expenses of £30.00:
Week 25 Total: £156.73
Running Total: £4427.71
For a full breakdown, see the balance sheet.
The Week Ahead:
Next week marks the halfway stage of the target, and means there is plenty to look forward to. As I have already hinted at, you can look out for that big announcement later this week, then I will be putting together a big half-year review complete with analysis, graphs, highlights and more (I promise it should be more interesting than that makes it sound). These are exciting times for The Shoestring Investor! In light of the fact I roughly doubled from week 24 to 25, and to mark the halfway stage, I’m going to stick my neck out and aim to double again, earning at least £314 in week 26.